Nicholas Krgovich - In An Open Field (LP)
This record could just as easily be called In A Sunny South Pasadena Living Room or In A Tin-Roofed Hut On A Remote Island In Winter, the settings where cult acclaimed songwriter Nicholas Krgovich wrote the elegant new album In An Open Field It is all wrapped up in irresistible melodies, airtight songwriting, beautifully nuanced arrangements, and buoyant performances from musicians like trombonist Peter Zummo (Arthur Russells frequent collaborator), legendary pedal steel player B.J. Cole, Angel Deradoorian, and psych-pop wiz Chris Cohen. From the feather-light saxophone harmonies on Country Boy to the gorgeously floaty first single My Riverboat the record is the nest work yet of a man who has built a formidable discography over the last fifteen years with groups No Kids, Piano & Gigi, and collaborations with Amber Coffman (ex-Dirty Projectors), Mount Eerie and Nite Jewel (who also guests on the record). There is much to delight and turn over on In An Open Field, a gentle adventure from a master of sophisticated pop bliss. It is the result of Krgovich emptying out his life and committing to songwriting as a daily practice; sip coffee, make toast, sit at the piano and just hoping that the clock hands spin and at the end of the day there's a new demo to listen to while making dinner and sett ling down to quiet evenings of re-runs and the occasional whiskey. Self-referred as his most lived-in and clear record to date, the record flows with a sophisticated, assured grace that in Steely Dan-like fashion belies the listless melancholy and knottiness found throughout the lyric sheet. Krgovich expresses the anxiety of the age in a way that is somehow both brutal and gentle. People have their phones and the internet, if there is a moment they go to a screen and it is a constant turning away from not knowing, turning away from a lack of meaning and getting comfortable in moving through the world with no reference, no anchor point beyond thin veneer of culture.